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CLASSICS OF CONFUCIUS 

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BOOK OF ODES 

(SHI-KING) 





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UNIVEKSITYOF 
CALIFORNIA 

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ZCbe TWUsfcom of tbe Bast Seviea 

EDITED BY 

L. CRANMER-BYNQ 

Dr. S. A. KAPADIA 



THE CLASSICS OF CONFUCIUS 

BOOK OF ODES 






FIRST EDITION . . . February, 1905 
Reprinted .... April, 1906 
SECOND EDITION . . . January, 1908 



WISDOM OF THE EAST 

THE ODES OF 
CONFUCIUS 

BY L. CRANMER-BYNG 

AUTHOR OF "THE NEVER-ENDING WRONG," 

AND OTHER RENDERINGS FROM THE CHINESE 




NEW YORK 

E. P. DUTTON AND COMPANY 

1908 



EDITORIAL NOTE 



object of the editors of this series is a 
-L very definite one. They desire above all 
things that, in their humble way, these books 
shall be the ambassadors of good-will and 
understanding between East and West, the old 
world of Thought, and the new of Action. In 
this endeavour, and in their own sphere, they 
are but followers of the highest example in the 
land. They are confident that a deeper know- 
ledge of the great ideals and lofty philosophy 
of Oriental thought may help to a revival of 
that true spirit of Charity which neither despises 
nor fears the nations of another creed and 
colour. Finally, in thanking press and public 
for the very cordial reception given to the 
" Wisdom of the East " series, they wish to state 
that no pains have been spared to secure the 
best specialists for the treatment of the various 
subjects at hand. 

L. CRANME 

S. A. KAPADIA 

NOBTHBROOK SOCIETY, 

185 PICCADILLY, W. 



INTROD UCTION 

" T T T HILE reading the works of Confucius, I have 
VV always fancied I could see the man as he 
was in life, and, when I went to Shantung, I actually 
beheld his carriage, his robes, and the material parts 
of his ceremonial usages. There were his descend- 
ants practising the old rites in their ancestral home ; 
and I lingered on, unable to tear myself away. Many 
are the princes and prophets that the world has 
seen in its time ; glorious in life, forgotten in death. 
But Confucius, though only a humble member of the 
cotton-clothed masses, remains among us after many 
generations. He is the model for such as would be 
wise. By all, from the Son of Heaven down to the 
meanest student, the supremacy of his principles is 
fully and freely admitted. He may, indeed, be pro- 
nounced the divinest of men." * 

This is the tribute of Ssu-Ma Ch'ien, the author of 
the first great History of China, who lived in the first 
century before Christ. Many centuries have gone 
since the old historian, out of the fulness of his heart, 
sang the praises of the Master and the supremacy of 
his principles. To-day, as a thousand years ago, the 
school children take their first serious instruction 
from the five books, or King as they are called in 
Chinese : 

* " Gems of Chinese Literature," by Herbert Giles (Quaritch). 
5 



The Shu King, or Book of History ; The I King, 
or Book of Changes ; The Shi King, or Book 
of Poetry; The Li Chi, or Book of Rites; 
The Ch'un Ch'in, or Annals of Spring and 
Autumn. 

The Shi King, or Book of Poetry, from which these 
poems are rendered through the prose translations 
of Professor Legge in his great series of Chinese 
classics, was compiled by Confucius about 500 B.C. 
from earlier collections which had been long existent, 
two of which, we know from an ode written about 
780 B.C., were called Ya and Nan respectively. The 
oldest of these odes belong to the Shang dynasty, 
1765-1122 B.C. ; the latest to the time of King Ting, 
605-585 B.C. The odes may be roughly divided into 
two classes : (i) The Songs of the People ; (2) The 
Official Odes. Professor Giles, in his "History of 
Chinese Literature" (Heinemann), divides the latter 
into three classes : (a) Odes sung at ordinary enter- 
tainments given by the suzerain ; (b) Odes sung on 
grand occasions when the feudal nobles were gathered 
together ; (c) Panegyrics and sacrificial odes. 

The great importance that Confucius placed upon 
the Book of Poetry may be gathered from the follow- 
ing anecdote : One day his son Le was passing 
hurriedly through the Court, when he met his father 
standing alone lost in thought. Confucius, on seeing 
his son, addressed him thus 

" Have you read the Odes ? " 

He replied, "Not yet." 

"Then," said Confucius, " if you do not learn the 
Odes, you will not be fit to converse with."* 

* Confucianism and Taoism," by Sir Robert Douglas (S.K.C.K.) 

6 



To understand this, we must know something ot 
the character and teachings of Confucius. William 
Morris was to some extent the Confucius of his 
age. Both men dreamt of a golden past a past 
brilliant with heroic deeds, mellowed with peace, 
and serene beneath the first clear dawn of ancient 
wisdom. Both drew inspiration from the unstained 
springs of poetry. Morris went back to the sagas 
of the North and the tales and tragedies of the early 
Greeks ; Confucius to the odes and ballads of his 
own country. For Morris, "the idle singer of an 
empty day," the world had grown old and careworn 
and unheroic. Confucius, too, was born out of his 
due time. The world his world of petty princelings 
and court intriguers and oppression was not ripe 
for the great gospel of humanity he had come to 
preach. Each failed lamentably in politics, and 
succeeded elsewhere : Confucius as the transmitter 
of the wisdom of the ages, the revealer of human 
goodness through conduct and knowledge ; William 
Morris as the inspired prophet of beauty, the teacher 
of good taste to the hideous Victorian age in which 
he was born. When the dogmas and economics 
of his socialism are forgotten, this influence will 
remain. 

Lastly, and perhaps greatest parallel of all, both 
passionately loved the people. Confucius, when 
asked how the superior man attained his position, 
said : " He cultivates himself so as to bring rest 
unto the people." Again he said: "To govern a 
country of a thousand chariots, there must be 
reverent attention to business, and faithfulness, 

7 



economy in expenditure, and love for the people. " 
Both recognised, as all great men must, that there 
is more to be learnt from the natural man, the man 
who lives next to nature, and through his toil knows 
something of her ways and moods, than the artificial 
mime of ancient court or modern drawing-room. It 
was through the Odes that Confucius taught his 
own generation to understand the manners and 
customs and the simple feelings of the men of old. 
Here are no great poems written by highly cultivated 
men, but songs that came naturally from the hearts 
of all, concerning their little troubles, their hopes 
and fears, the business in which they were engaged. 
The farmer sings of his husbandry. 

He gives us this picture of the workers over the 
land coming to clear the virgin soil of the grass and 
brushwood that cover it. "There they go in 
thousands, two and two, side by side, tearing the 
roots out of the soil ; some to the marshlands, some 
where the dry paths wind through the meadows, and 
some by the river banks. There is the master 
inspecting all, with his sons ready at hand, followed 
by their households ; there also are the neighbours 
who have come to help ; there the hired servants. 
Now the feast has begun, sounds of revelry are 
heard ; the husbands' hearts are full of love as they 
sit with their wives by their side. Now they begin 
again patiently to prepare the southern lands, 
breaking the soil with the ploughshare. Many kinds 
of grain they sow ; soon strange life will arise from 
every ear, when the young blades raise their heads 
from the ground. See the young blades arise in long 

8 



unbroken lines that day by day grow and spear 
before us. Fertile is the swelling seed, and through 
it go the labourers who weed it over and over again. 
A little while and the reapers have come ; the golden 
grain is stacked high, the straw innumerable is 
multiplied. There is sufficient to make the spirits 
glad, to offer to the shades of our fathers, and 
yield whatever the rites require ; sufficiency for the 
kings and nobles to give mighty banquets, when at 
the fragrant feast both host and guest sit down 
together ; there is enough when the feast is over to 
satisfy the aged poor and cheer them with a never- 
ending abundance. Not now alone, but from all 
time and in all lands, the earth repays a thousand- 
fold to those who toil." 

Such is the song of husbandry three thousand years 
ago. What joyousness is here ! What scenes of 
peace and simple festival of family love and delight 
in the land ! 

Again some officer in the days of good King Wan, 
galloping along a clear road on the king's service, 
hammers out the splendid galloping song, called 
" King's Messenger," in the present book, to the 
beat of his galloping horses' hoofs. No such poem 
was elaborated in garden or grove where the poets 
clustered, and drank, and sang. It comes straight 
from the heart of this nameless envoy of old, fiercely 
exulting in his own untiring energy and in the 
mettle of his splendid steeds. How many of these 
poems declare the joys of work bravely attempted 
bravely done ! These little sagas of blood and brain 
can teach us more of life than all the threadbare 

9 



moralities which serve as poetry in the modern day. 
How modern they are ! Yes, indeed ! as long as 
colour is colour, and life is life. As long as youth 
with its sublime folly will wait all night for the 
tryst that is never kept, these poems, the earliest 
collection of secular songs we know, will remain 
fresh and charm us to the end. These old writers, 
viewing nature at first hand and not through the 
medium of any books, wrote faithfully of what they 
felt and saw. 

"With what delight does the eye wander over the 
surrounding landscape ! Very gently the river glides 
along through the plain, which it makes beautiful 
with the long canal formed by its waters. To the 
south rise great mountains in the shape of an 
amphitheatre, while, on the further bank, reeds and 
pines, covered with a never-fading verdure, invite 
the fresh breath of the cooling winds. Happy 
places ! those who dwell in you live like brothers. 
Never is the voice of discord heard among you. 
What glory shall be yours ! The prince, whose 
heritage you are, hath chosen you for his abode. 
Already is the plan of his palace formed ; proud walls 
arise, and grand terraces are building on the east 
and west. Haste to come, great prince ! O haste 
to come ; sports and pleasure wait upon thy coming. 
The solid foundations, which are now being laid 
with redoubled strokes of the hammer, display thy 
wisdom. Neither rains nor storms shall ever 
prevail against them. Never shall the insect which 
creeps or walks penetrate thy habitation. The 
guard who watches is sometimes surprised, the 

10 



swiftest dart may err, the frightened pigeon forgets 
the use of its wings, and the pheasant with 
difficulty flies before the eagle ; but before thee 
every obstacle vanishes. With what majesty do 
these colonnades rear their fronts ! How immense 
are those halls ! Lofty columns support the ceiling, 
the brightness of the day illuminates them and pene- 
trates them on all sides. It is here that my prince 
reposes ; it is here that he sleeps, upon long mats 
woven with great art." 

Often the song is one that only a woman could 
have sung. Some lady of the harem of King Wan 
praises the queen, who is never jealous of the inferior 
wives, but cherishes them as some great tree 
cherishes the creepers that gather round it. Again, 
"the ripe plums are falling from the bough; only 
seven-tenths of them remain ! If any desire to 
marry me, now has the fortunate time arrived ! " 
In the second verse only three-tenths are left ; in the 
third she had gathered them all into her basket : the 
lover has only to speak the word, and she will be his. 
Many of these odes are undoubtedly the work of 
women. The European idea that Chinese women 
are, and always have been, the closely prisoned 
slaves of their husbands, idle and soulless and 
ignorant, has been dispelled by Professor Giles in 
his interesting "Chinese Sketches" published by 
Kegan, Paul & Co. "In novels, for instance," he 
writes, "the heroine is always highly educated 
composes finished verses, and quotes from Confucius ; 
and it is only fair to suppose that such characters 
are not purely and wholly ideal. Besides, most 

ii 



young Chinese girls whose parents are well off are 
taught to read. ..." According to Legge, there 
was more freedom of movement allowed to women 
in the days when the odes were written and collected, 
before the custom of cramping the feet was intro- 
duced ; consequently their minds were more able to 
expand from contact with the outer world, and 
better fitted for literary tasks. The names of the 
ladies Pan-Chieh-Yu and Fang Wei-I are well known 
to every student of Chinese literature. 

Perhaps the great importance of the odes, first 
grasped by Confucius, and afterwards by the whole 
of China, lies in the fact that they are no mere 
abstract creations of an imaginative brain. Each 
one of these nameless poets writes about himself or 
herself; their sorrows, their aspirations, their out- 
look on their own times, contented or gloomy, are 
all chronicled herein. In the official odes we see 
the feudal princes coming to town to greet their 
sovereign lord. The state-carriages with their four- 
horse teams have gone to greet them. What gifts 
has the king to bestow on those he delights to 
honour? Bring forth the dark-coloured robes 
embroidered with the dragon, and the silken skirts 
with the hatchet design upon them. See, they are 
coming, you may tell by the dragon flags that wave 
before them coming, by the hwuy-hwuy sound of the 
bells that reaches us. By the bright red buskins 
that cover the knees we know them. These are the 
princes ! 

No great poetry to be sure ! no monolith of in- 
spired travail by a giant race that may stand alone 

12 



in the time-deserted regions of sand and silence ! 
These are just the natural song's that float upward 
from the happy valleys and down the sedge-strewn 
banks of the wandering K'e. Above all, they are 
naive and bright as on their birthday, with that most 
precious quality of truth and unconscious art which 
never lets them tarnish or fade. The king is very 
wicked ! The poor groom of the Chamber to His 
Majesty gives vent to his sorrow in song. He lets 
you know all about it. The royal naughtiness stands 
clearly revealed, not by any calico-tearing epithets 
such as a modern poet affrights the ears of a Sultan 
with, but just a gentle bland admonishment, a little 
dirge of political desolation and the knell of a falling 
dynasty. 

I have put, or tried to put, these poems back into 
poetry. Four of these pieces have been exquisitely 
rendered by my friend Mr Allen Upward, and speak 
for themselves.* As regards my own reasons for 
rendering Chinese poetry into English verse, I am 
content to shelter myself behind the great authority 
and judgment of Sir John Davis, who, in his " Poetry 
of the Chinese," contends that "verse must be the 
shape into which Chinese, as well as other poetry, 
must be converted, in order to do it mere justice." 
I will, however, take the opportunity of saying, in 
conclusion, that the great literatures of the world 
have been too long in the hands of mere scholars, to 
whom the letter has been all-important and the spirit 

* Namely : " The Prayer of Ching," p. 25 ; " Through Eastern 
Gates," p. 30 ; " The Pear-Tree," p. 34 ; "Blue Collar," p. 39. 

'3 



nothing. The time has come when the literary man 
should stand forth and claim his share in the revela- 
tion of truth and beauty from other lands and 
peoples whom our invincible European ignorance 
has taught us to despise. 

L. CRANMER-BYNG. 



THE DESERTED WIFE 

YOU came a simple lad 
In dark blue cotton clad, 
To barter serge for silken wear ; 
But not for silk you dallied there. 
Ah ! was it not for me 
Who led you through the K'e, 
Who guided you 
To far Tun-K'ew? 

" It is not I who would put off the day ; 
But you have none your cause to plead," 
I said, "O love, take heed, 
When the leaves fall do with me what you may.' 



I saw the red leaves fall, 

And climbed the ruined wall, 

Towards the city of Fuh-kwan 

I did the dim horizon scan. + 

" He cometh not," I said, 

And burning tears were shed : 

You came I smiled, 

Love reconciled, 

You said, " By taper reed and tortoise-shell, 

I have divined, and all, O love, is well." 

'5 



"Then haste the car," I cried, 

"Gather my goods and take me to thy side." 

Before the mulberry tree 

With leaves hath strewn the lea, 

How glossy-green are they ! how rare ! 

Ah ! thou young thoughtless dove beware ! 

Avoid the dark fruit rife 

With sorrow to thy life. 

And thou, whose fence 

Is innocence, 

Seek no sweet pleasuring with any youth ! 

For when a man hath sinned, but little shame 

Is fastened to his name, 

Yet erring woman wears the garb of ruth. 

When the lone mulberry tree 

With leaves bestrews the lea, 

They yellow slowly, slowly down 

From green to gold, from gold to brown. 

Three sombre years ago 

I fled with you, and lo, 

The floods of K'e 

Now silently 

Creep to the curtains of my little car. 

Through cloud and gloom I was your constant 

star; 

Now you have gone from sight, 
And love's white star roams aimleis through 

the night. 

16 



For three long years your wife, 

Toil was my part in life, 

Early from sleep I rose and went 

About my labour, calm, content ; 

Nor any morn serene 

Lightened the dull routine. 

Early and late, 

I was your mate, 

Bearing the burdens that were yours to share. 

Fain of the little love that was my lot, 

Ah, kinsmen scorn me not ! 

How should ye know when silence chills despair? 

Old we should grow in accord, 

Old and grief is my lord. 

Between her banks the K'e doth steer, 

And pine-woods ring the lonely mere. 

In pleasant times I bound 

My dark hair to the sound 

Of whispered vows 

'Neath lilac boughs, 

And little recked o'er broken faith to weep. 

Now the grey shadows o'er the marshland creep : 

The willows stir and fret : 

Low in the west the dull dun sun hath set 



KINGS MESSENGER 



ALLOPING, galloping, gallant steed; 
VJT Six reins slackened and dull with sweat, 
Galloping, galloping still we speed, 
Seeking, counselling, onward set. 

Galloping, galloping, piebald steed ; 
Six reins, silken reins, start and strain, 
Galloping, galloping, still we speed, 
News what news from the King's domain. 

Galloping, galloping, white and black ; 
Six reins glossy and flaked with foam, 
Galloping, galloping, look not back ! 
On for the King for the King we roam. 

Galloping, galloping, dappled grey ; 
Six reins true to the hand alone, 
Galloping, galloping, night and day, 
Seeking, questioning, galloping, gone ! 



FLIGHT 



COLD and keen the north wind blows, 
Silent falls the shroud of snows. 
You who gave me your heart 
Let us join hands and depart ! 
Is this a time for delay ? 
Now, while we may, 
Let us away. 

Wailingly the north wind goes, 
Wailing through a whirl of snows. 
You who gave me your heart 
Let us join hands and depart ! 
Is this a time for delay ? 
Now, while we may, 
Let us away. 

Only the lonely fox is red, 
Black but the crow-flight overhead. 
You who gave me your heart, 
The chariot creaks to depart, 
Is this a time for delay ? 
Now, while we may, 
Let us away. 



THE TOWER OF WAN 

a 

T "\ 7 AN drew a tower of bold ascent, 

V V A tower of lofty size. 
In crowds the zealous builders went, 
The walls began to rise. 

" Haste not," said he, when first the work began ; 
But all the people were as sons of Wan. 

The King was in the wondrous park, 

The does so sleek and brown 

Lay couched in fern ; from dawn to dark 

White birds came glistening down ; 

The King was by the pond whose waters hold 

A thousand carp with ruddy scales of gold. 

Upon his posts the fretted board 

Is hung with drums and bells ; 

What music chimes from their accord, 

What sound of laughter swells 

From the pavilion of the circling pool 

Where joy and Wan, the brother monarchs, rule 

What harmony of bells and drums ! 

What call of drums and bells ! 

Beyond the flaming water comes 

What sound of happy spells. 

The blind musicians blind us with delight ; 

While the deep lizard drums roll on till night. 



DRIFTING 

TWO youths into their boats descend, 
Whose shadows on the waters sway ; 
Ah ! light hearts bravely sped away, 
My heavy heart forbodes the end. 

Two youths into their boats descend, 
Two lives go drifting far from me ; 
Between the willow glooms I see 
Death lurking at the river's bend. 



THE SLANDERERS 



r I ^HE blue flies buzz upon the wing-, 

_L From fence to fence they wander ; 
O happy King! O courteous King! 
Give heed to no man's slander. 

The noisy blue flies rumble round, 
Upon the gum-trees lighting ; 
A tongue of evil hath no bound, 
And sets the realm a-fighting. 

The clumsy blue flies buzzing round 
Upon the hazels blunder ; 
O cursed tongue that knows no bound, 
And sets us two asunder. 



LOVE AND THE MAGISTRATE 



WHEN the great carriage rumbles by, 
I see him in his robes of state, 
Calm, pitiless, sedate. 
Man of the cold far-piercing eye, 

but I long for you, 

Right for you, wrong for you, 

Naught could keep us apart, 

But the cold eye reading my heart. 

When the great carriage rumbles on, 
In robes of state carnation red 

1 see the man of dread, 

Bright gleaming robes and glance of stone, 

O then I long for you, 

Right for you, wrong for you, 

Naught could keep us apart 

But the cold eye reading my heart. 

Together we may never bide, 

Nor you and me one roof contain, 

But death shall not divide ; 

The same close grave shall wed the twain. 

Say ! am I cold to you ? 

Nay ! I will hold to you, 

By the bright sun I swear, 

O my life, my love, my despair. 



CITY OF CHOW 



from the spring the waters pass 
v_x Over the waving pampas grass. 
All night long in dream I lie, 
Ah me ! ah me ! to awake and sigh 
Sigh for the City of Chow. 

Cold from the spring the rising flood 
Covers the tangled southernwood. 
All night long in dream I lie, 
Ah me ! ah me ! to awake and sigh 
Sigh for the City of Chow. 

Cold from its source the stream meanders, 
Darkly down through the oleanders. 
All night long in dream I lie, 
Ah me ! ah me ! to awake and sigh 
Sigh for the City of Chow. 



THE PR A YER OF THE EMPEROR CHING 

LET me be reverent, be reverent, 
Even as the way of Heaven is evident, 
And its appointment easy is to mar. 

Let me not say, " It is too high above," 
Above us and below us doth it move, 
And daily watches wheresoe'er we are. 

It is but as a little child I ask, 

Without intelligence to do my task, 

Yet learning, month by month, and day by day, 

I will hold fast some gleams of knowledge bright. 
Help me to bear my heavy burden right, 
And show me how to walk in wisdom's way. 



II 

THE PRA YER OF THE EMPEROR CHING 



VEN as a little helpless child am I, 

J / On whom hath fallen the perplexed affairs 

Of this unsettled state. High loneliness 
And sorrow are my portion. Thou great Father, 
Thou kingly pattern of parental awe, 
Whose mind for ever in the courts beheld, 
Roaming, the royal image of thy sire, 
Night long and day long, I the little child 
Will so be reverent. 



O ye great kings ! 

Your crowned successor crowns you in his heart. 
Live unforgotten. Here, upon the verge 
Of the momentous years, I pause and trace 
The shining footsteps of my forefathers, 
And the far-distant goal that drew them on 
Too distant for my range. Howe'er resolved 
I may go forward, lo ! a thousand tracks 
Cause me to swerve aside. A little child 
Only a little child I am too frail 
To cope with the anxieties of state 
And cares of king-craft. Yet I will ascend 



Into my Father's room, and through the courts 
Below, for ever seeking, I will pass, 
To brush the skirts of inspiration 
And touch the sleeves of memory. 

O great 

And gracious Father, hear and condescend 
To guard, to cherish, to enlighten me. 



MA YTIME 



DEEP in the grass there lies a dead gazelle, 
The tall white grass enwraps her where 

she fell. 

With sweet thoughts natural to spring, 
A pretty girl goes wandering 
With lover that would lead astray. 

The little dwarf oaks hide a leafy dell, 
Far in the wilds there lies a dead gazelle ; 
The tall white grass enwraps her where she fell, 

And beauty, like a gem, doth fling 

Bright radiance through the blinds of spring. 

"Ah, gently ! do not disarray 

My kerchief ! gently, pray ! 

Nor make the watch-dog bark 

Under my lattice dark." 



LADY OF THE LAGOON 

BY the shores of that lagoon, 
Where the water-lily lies, 
Where the tall valerians rise 
Slender as the crescent moon, 
Goes He'a Nan . . . Ah, He'a Nan, 
Sleep brings me no relief: 
My heart is full of grief. 

By the shores of that lagoon, 
Where the drowsy lotus lies, 
Where the tall valerians rise 
Brighter than the orbed moon, 
Shines He'a Nan . . . Ah, He'a Nan, 
I turn and turn all night, 
And dawn brings no respite. 



THROUGH EASTERN GATES 

THROUGH eastern gates I wandered far, 
Where cloud-like beauties thronged the way ; 
Although like clouds their faces are, 
My thoughts among them would not stay. 
She in rough silk and kerchief blue 
Gave me the only joy I knew. 

I wandered by the curtain tower, 
Like flowering rushes were the maids ; 
Although they match the rushes' flower, 
Soon from my mind their beauty fades. 
In humble silk and madder dye, 
She fills my heart with ecstasy. 



THE STRAGGLER 



is that little oriole 
JL At rest where the mound doth rise ; 
Oh, but the way is long, 
Long- that before me lies. 
There is no rest for me, 
None for my tired feet ; 
Give me to drink and eat, 
Do what is best for me. 
Order an ambulance car, 
And carry me, carry me on. 

There is that little oriole 

At rest where the mound doth bend ; 

Oh, but I know no fear 

Save if the march will end. 

There is no rest for me, 

None for my tired feet ; 

Give me to drink and eat, 

Do what is best for me. 

Order an ambulance car, 

And carry me, carry me on. 



There is that little oriole 
At rest on the hillock grey ; 
Oh, but I know no fear 
Save that I fall by the way. 



There is no rest for me, 
None for my tired feet ; 
Give me to drink and eat, 
Do what is best for me. 
Order an ambulance car, 
And carry me, carry me on. 



THE HAPPY MAN 

HE has perched in the valley with pines over- 
grown, 

This fellow so stout and so merry and free ; 
He sleeps and he talks and he wanders alone, 
And none are so true to their pleasures as he. 

He has builded his hut in the bend of the mound, 
This fellow so fine with his satisfied air ; 
He wakes and he sings with no neighbour around, 
And whatever betide him his home will be there. 

He dwells on a height amid cloudland and rain, 
This fellow so grand whom the world blunders by ; 
He slumbers alone, wakes, and slumbers again, 
And his secrets are safe in that valley of Wei. 



33 



THE PEAR-TREE 

r I A HIS shade-bestowing pear-tree, thou 
JL Hurt not, nor lay its leafage low ; 
Beneath it slept the Duke of Shaou. 

This shade-bestowing pear-tree, thou 
Hurt not, nor break one leafy bough ; 
Beneath it stayed the Duke of Shaou. 

This shade-bestowing pear-tree, thou 
Hurt not, nor bend one leafy bough ; 
Beneath it paused the Duke of Shaou. 



34 






PRINCELY VISITORS 

WHITE birds went over the West 
Young egrets, over the marshlands 

flying, 

My Lords came visiting, ermine-dressed, 
With the birds in their elegant beauty vieing. 

In their States they have high renown, 
Of the city of Chow they are never tiring, 
And the rivers of night wind darkly down 
Past the towers of their fame still aspiring. 



THE NIGHTLONG TRYST 



DOWN by the eastern gate 
The willow wood's astir ; 
From dusk to dawn I wait 
Through the soundless hours for her, 
Till the morning star is shining. 

Down by the eastern gate 
The willow-thicket pales ; 
From dusk to dawn I wait, 
Till the last red lantern fails, 
And the morning star is shining. 



A WIFE'S MEMORIES 

WITH taper rod of tall bamboo 
You angle in the K'e, 
Do I not go by dream to you 
Who cannot come to me ? 

To left the Ts'euen waters roam, 
The K'e flows on to right, 
Ah ! never gleams the newer home 
Like that lost home to sight. 

Leftward the Ts'euen stream beguiles, 
And rightward calls the K'e, 
Return, O light of happy smiles 
And girdle-gems, to me ! 

The oars of cedar rise and fall 

From boats of yellow pine, 

Would I might roam the banks where all 

The ghosts of girlhood shine 1 



37 



THE PRINCES 



THEY gather the beans, gather the beans, 
In their baskets square and round : 
The princes all are coming to court, 
And where shall their gifts be found ? 

The coaches of state and their teams go by, 
What more for my lords have I ? 
Dark coloured robes with a dragon fine, 
And silken skirts with the hatchet sign. 

Clear bubbles the spring, bubbles the spring, 

Around they gather the cress : 

The princes all are coming to court, 

Their banners the winds caress. 

The dragon flag in the breezes swells, 
To the hivuy-hwuy sound of the bells. 

With two outside, the teams go past, 

These are the princes come at last. 

Red covers the knee, covers the knee : 

Their buskins are red below. 

Lofty bearing and stately mien, 

Yonder my princes go. 

In such the Son of Heaven delights, 
The king shall renew their rights. 

May the pleasure and power for my lords increase, 

May the land yield corn and the years bring peace. 

38 



BLUE COLLAR 

OYOU with the collar of blue, 
My heart is longing for you. 
Though to call you I am not free, 
Wherefore not send to me ? 

O you with the girdle of blue, 
Long, long do I think of you. 
Though to seek you I am not free, 
Wherefore not come to me? 

Ah, random and pleasure-drawn, 
To the View Tower you are gone ; 
And a day without your sight 
Is like three months in its flight. 



39 



A FRIEND FORGOTTEN 

THE winds blow soft from the East, 
But the storm welters by. 
In the day of disaster and fear, 
It was all you and I. 
In the hour of your pride 
You have cast me aside. 

The bland winds blown from the East 

Tornadoes pursue. 

In the hour of disaster and fear 

More than brother were you. 

In the hour of delight 

I am cast from your sight. 

The winds come fair from the East : 

On the hills overhead 

There is never a blade that is green, 

Not a leaf but is dead. 

My worth you forget, 

But my faults linger yet. 



THE EPHEMERAE 

IN black and yellow are clad 
The wings of the ephemerae ; 
But my heart is sad, is sad, 
Because they will not stay with me. 

Many colours adorn 
The robes of the ephemerae ; 
But my heart's forlorn, forlorn, 
Because they will not rest with me. 

In robes of hempen snow 

Rise the ephemerae ; 

But my heart is full of woe 

Because they will not bide with me. 



HAPPY IN HAOU 

FISHES are there, by the score, I trow, 
Their large heads sleepily showing ; 
The King is here, in the city of Haou, 
At ease while the w ne-cup's flowing. 

Fishes are there in the weeds enow, 
Their long tails lazily swaying ; 
The King is here, in the city of Haou, 
Drinking, dreaming, delaying. 

The fish lie under the willow bough 
That leans and shadows the rushes ; 
The King is here, in the city of Haou, 
At peace, and the wine-cup blushes. 



THREE GIFTS 

A royal gourd was given me, 
And in exchange an emerald I gave, 
No mere return for courtesy, 
But that our friendship might outlast the grave. 

A princely peach was given me, 

And in exchange a ruby gem I gave, 

No mere exchange for courtesy, 

But that our friendship might outlast the grave. 

A yellow plum was given me, 

And in exchange a sardonyx I gave, 

No mere return for courtesy, 

But that our friendship might outlast the grave. 



43 



BRAVE THOUGHTS 

REEN is the upper robe, 

Green with a yellow lining ; 
My sorrow none may probe, 
Nor can I cease repining. 

Green is the upper robe, 
The lower garb is yellow ; 
My sorrow none may probe, 
Nor any season mellow. 

The silk was of emerald dye, 
Ah ! this was all your doing ; 
But 1 dream of an age gone by 
To keep my heart from rueing. 

Fine linen or coarse, 'tis cold, 
But all I have to dress me ; 
So I think of the men of old, 
And find brave thoughts possess me. 



44 



ON THE BANKS OF HO 

THE little boat of cypress rocks, 
Rocks in the midst of Ho ; 
He was my lord, whose long- dark locks 
Diviued in their downward flow. 
Till death betide, 
His bride, 
I'll wed no other. 
O Heaven ! O mother ! 
Will you not understand your child i 

The little boat of cypress rocks 

There by the side of Ho ; 

He was my only one, whose locks 

Divided in their downward flow. 

Till death betide, 

His bride, 

I'll wed no other. 

O Heaven ! O mother ! 

Far from me be the thing defiled ! 

Will you not understand your child ? 



45 



SORROW 



SHE sought her native land again. 
The swallow takes its ragged flight. 
We went together day and night, 
Till parting drew her from my sight 
And the tears fell down like rain. 

She went her native land to seek. 
Now up, now down the swallow flies. 
And oh ! the last of tender ties, 
The form that fades from aching eyes 
And the tears coursing down my cheek. 

Around, about the swallows dar 
She fared into a far countree, 
And when I vainly sought to see 
The empty landscape mocked at me, 
And great grief settled on my heart 



46 



BULWARKS OF EMPIRE 



OOD men are bulwarks ; while the multitudes 
Are walls that ring the land; great states are 

screens ; 

Each family a buttress ; the pursuit 
Of righteousness secures repose ; like towers 
Of strong defence the royal kinsmen stand 
Immune from peril. May they still remain 
Nor leave the king, a lonely citadel 
Abandoned to his enemies. 

Give heed 

Unto the wrath of Heaven ! nor presume 
To idle ; but revere the Heavenly moods, 
Ephemeral though they seem. Be not of those 
That roam at random. Heaven understands 
And doth companion all the ways we go, 
And seeth all things clearly. . . . 



47 



THE BRIDE COMETH 



HE turtle-dove dwells in the magpies nest. 
One cometh as a bride to be caressed ; 
A hundred carriages have gone in quest. 

The magpie's home the young dove hath possessed. 

This lady cometh as a life-long guest ; 

A hundred chariots on the road have pressed. 

The turtle-dove shall fill the magpie's nest. 
She travels far from home to love and rest ; 
A hundred carriages her rank attest. 



48 






BEFORE THE fORD 



IF your heart be kind and true, 
I will ford the stream with you. 
If your fickle thoughts go straying, 
Come with me no more a-maying. 
Oh, you silly, silly swain ! 
Better men than you remain. 

If you love me, dear my lord, 

Bid me and I'll cross the ford. 

Should your roving thoughts forsake me, 

Thoughts more kind will captive make me, 

Oh, you silly, silly swain ! 

Better men than you remain. 



49 



GOOD KING WU 



IN the city of Haou he built his hall, 
With circling waters round the wall : 
From north to south, from east to west 
There was never a tongue but called him blest 
Great King Wu was a monarch true. 

With divination deep, I trow, 
Afar he sought the sight of Haou. 
With tortoise-shell the site he chose, 
And tier by tier the city rose. 
Great King Wu was a monarch true. 

By the waters of Fung white millet grew. 
Statesmen wise were the choice of Wu, 
The future reaped whate'er he planned ; 
His son was lord of a grateful land. 
Good King Wu was a monarch true. 



FAINT HEART 



I PRAY you, dear, 
My little hamlet leave, 
Nor break my willow-boughs ; 
'Tis not that I should grieve, 
But I fear my sire to rouse. 
Love pleads with passion disarrayed, 
" A sire's commands must be obeyed." 

I pray you, dear, 

Leap not across my wall, 

Nor break my mulberry -boughs ; 

Not that I fear their fall, 

But, lest my brother's wrath should rouse, 

Love pleads with passion disarrayed, 

"A brother's words must be obeyed." 

I pray you, dear, 

Steal not my garden down, 

Nor break my sandal-trees ; 

Not that I care for these, 

But, oh ! I dread the talk of town. 

Should lovers have their wilful way, 

Whatever would the neighbours say ? 



WITHOUT HER 



THE moon comes forth in her brightness ; 
Fair as the moon was she, 
That bright and beautiful lady 
Who lit the night for me. 
Would that I saw her now, 
With the stars around her brow. 

The moon comes forth in her splendour ; 

Fair through the void she burns, 

That pale and beautiful lady, 

My moon, no more returns ; 

But under the alien skies 

She shines in a stranger's eyes. 

The moon comes forth in her glory ; 
Kind to the world is she. 
That kind and beautiful lady, 
Doth charm no night for me. 
Oh, when the dawn-star wanes 
For the sun to rend my chains 1 



THE FOREST LOVER 



JfEEN-KWAN the axles cried, 
**- As I drove to claim my bride. 
Hunger for her beauty presses, 
I am parched for her caresses ; 
Though we lack good company, 
We shall revel I and she. 

Dense the forest in the plain, 
Where the long-tailed pheasants reign ; 
Happy is the house that owns her, 
Where a lover's choice enthrones her. 
Pledge me while I praise you, dear ! 
Love shall ever need you near. 

Though I have but little wine, 
Love makes little cups divine. 
Though but one poor meal await us, 
Simple fare shall amply sate us ; 
Though small worth is mine to bring, 
Gaily we will dance and sing. 

Yon tall ridges I ascend 

And the stubborn firewood rend. 

When the riven oaks are ringing 

All my thoughts fly homeward winging; 

Though their green abysses hide, 

My whole heart is satisfied. 

53 



Yon dim mountains disappear, 
On the road the course is clear. 
Gathering hooves go loudly drumming, 
Reins like lute-strings join their thrumming ; 
Till beside the open door, 
She is in my arms once more. 



54 



THE HOUSEHOLDERS LAM Em 



* I "*HE marshland holds the carambola tree; 

J. Soft and pliant its branches be. 
With its careless beauty and tender sheen, 
The life of a tree is the life for me. 

The marshland rears the carambola tree ; 
All purple and red its blossoms be. 
In careless beauty and tender sheen, 
Would I were childless and bland like thee. 

The marshland loves the carambola tree ; 
Soft and sweet are the fruits I see. 
Clothed with beauty and sunlit sheen, 
The rateless and roofless life for me. 



55 



UNA VAILING 



HE stabs me with a scornful smile. 
Winds are wailing at the door. 
Scornful words and whispers vile, 
Ye have thrust me to the core. 

Whirling dust the northwind blows. 
Surely he will seek his mate ! 
But he neither comes nor goes, 
Through the long dumb hours that wait. 

Blew the wind and veiled the sky ; 
One hour's gleam, then clouds again. 
Sleep went trailing softly by, 
Left me to the old dull pain. 

Clouds across the darkness sweep, 
Thunder rolls its monotone. 
Who shall put my heart to sleep ? 
Heart that aches, and aches alone. 



GREY DAWNS AND RED 



COLD is the rain and cold the wind, 
The cock gives dawn shrill greeting ; 
But a shadow steals across the blind, 
And oh ! my heart is beating. 

The rain drives down, the wind tears past, 
The cock shrills through the gloaming ; 

But love is in the house at last, 
And sorrow flies his homing. 

Though the world look dark through wind and 
rain, 

And the dismal cock's a-crowing ; 
I'll sigh no more for the nights to wane, 

And its oh J for the red dawn's glowing. 



Printed by Hazcll, Watson & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury 



CENTRAL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 

University of California, San Diego 

DATE DUE 



,. K . | ,1^ 




MAR 2 1987 




JMKKOW. 








































































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